Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Monday, August 30, 2010

planting trees - lots of them

this year we have planned to plant around 400 tree. refer item no. 5 in things are afoot.
we should get upto 350 trees based on our current count.
around 300 will be pongamia pinnata and the rest will be a mix of fruit trees (coconut, mango, sapota, guava, etc)

a lot of tree planting drives are carried out by a variety of organisations, typically on occasions like World Environment Day, etc.
most of them are utter rot.

tree planting is tough work and takes energy and care. you need people with the utmost dedication and devotion - who do not care about the photo ops and the newspaper publicity and the conscience laundering.

we planted around 50 trees in early june when we had a series of wet days. and after 3 months we have 47 survivors. we are proud of this survival rate.

so it all boils down to timing - timing of the rains.
we were readying the plant the remaining 300 trees sometime in september, just after a good spell of rain from the SW monsoon and then the NE monsoon will take over.
we had got an expert pit digger, arjunan, to dig the 300 odd pits. each pit is a cube of length 18 inches. gap between each tree is 25 feet.
his work requires an altogether separate post. filling up a a pit is such hard work, imagine digging it.

and as per his advice, we filled up 130 pits today with 1 cu ft of manure and shovelled in most of the dug out soil. at the next rain, we would plant the trees.
this filling up we did today afternoon under mild, pleasant weather.
at around 330 we were getting ready for our regular evening chores of watering, sickling, etc.
as we set out, the skies opened up for 15 mins. heavy showers.

so stopped all other work.
wheel-barrowed 25 saplings and started planting them.
by the time we were getting to the end, the skies opened up again. yes, again.
almost perfect synchronisation with the rain gods.
the newly planted trees get their first fresh dose of life-giving water directly from rain.

scintillating feeling. maybe this is what giving birth feels like.
targetting planting another 50 trees tomorrow.


dv said...

not to forget the many hundreds of 'Gliricidia sepium' that we plant. it is such a hardy darling, vigorous and cheerful, despite being destined to be shredded for mulching and composting. it needs an ode all to itself

Prathapan said...

It is a great feeling to see them grow. All the best

Kishore said...

As CSM noted, in India there is a lot of fanfare, Hoopla and all that for "foundation stone laying, tree planting etc.

I agree wholeheartedly that as a nation and culture should focus on the completion of projects and not just talk about what we are going to do and never delivering.

This malaise infects society to point that we are more bluff than action. All talk and no action, i.e. - arm chair critics.

Towards this, I admire and respect that DV, Sriram and Karpagam have put their "money where their mouth is"

SurveySan said...

my adventure with planting saplings

sorry about the self-promotions :)

nisha said...

The timing of rains gave me goosebumps! Great job. Gliricidia grows quite well from cuttings so you've planted a thousand potential trees.